Trope-a-Day: Space Pirates

Space Pirates: Type I is occasionally possible, thanks to the constraints of economically favorable trajectories, refueling stations (around gas giants), and the stargates themselves making it at least possible to lie around in somewhat-disguised- bearing in mind the constraints covered under Stealth in Space – ambush for merchant shipping to show up.  That, and raiding isolated colonies (which is actually substantially easier).

In their more stupid and brutal (“Yarr!  Kill – or enslave – everyone gratuitously unpleasantly, then takes their stuff!”) forms, seen occasionally out in the lawless backwaters of the stargate plexus – but even then, only occasionally, because everyone hates these guys, and even if they don’t run into anyone’s regular navy, mercenaries, bounty hunters, and heavily armed “free traders” – and a lot of star nations out there have, shall we say, a relaxed attitude to what a merchie bearing their flag can bolt onto his ship by way of insurance – have no particular problem making an extra exval or two by reducing them to inventory.  Especially since their business model is rarely profitable enough to let them buy decent ships until after they’ve given people plenty of chances to whack ’em, unless they start out as renegade naval units or some such.

Played somewhat straighter by people with more complex business models involving tangle-enabled insider trading, commerce raiders, privateers, and mercenaries hired to be commerce-raiding privateers, mostly because either due to better business models or access to thinly-disguised naval auxiliaries, they can afford decent ships, or have someone backing them up who can.  Generally also less stupid and brutal, since they want to live to spend their earnings and/or have a patron who will clean them up himself, lest he be held responsible by someone who finds their casus belli just the thing he was looking for.

Trope-a-Day: Even Evil Has Standards

Even Evil Has Standards: Not in general played any straighter than it is in reality – the dumb and brutal kind of space pirate/raider, in particular, is infamous for atrocities – but seen on occasion.  A lot of Renegades, even the gone-plain-and-simple-evil ones, still have their instincts and culture programming, and as such tend to avoid slaving and other blatantly choice-stealing, and often adhere to codes circling around the twisted form of mélith that could be summarized as “those who aren’t asking for it shouldn’t get it”.